1999 Ford Transit VG SWB from Australia and New Zealand - Comments

25th Mar 2006, 23:21

I have an ex- Australia Post (SWB) van. Like most of them, it has an automatic transmission. I have used it for 150000km for the past 2 years; replaced the tail shaft with second hand ones 4 (four) times, timing belt once, and the gearbox once. Very reliable carrying heavy loads, but parts and maintenance cost are very expensive!

6th Jun 2006, 11:04

I own an 1995 ex-AustPost van. Great size and good handling van which is also very comfortable as well.

Now for the problems.

Trans. rebuild at 135,000k's - $3,500 for reconditioned parts. I wondered why AustPost were selling it so soon - should have guessed.

Fuel pump at 230,000k's - $3,500 for reconditioned unit. Funny, but there were a number of other Transits in for the same problem as mine. The mechanic said its pretty common.

Alternator at 250,000k's - they wanted $1200 for genuine - fitted a Mitsubishi one for $700 - best part in the vehicle now.

Fuel pump sensor at 270,000k's - $350.

The trans. is now making a bit of noise, as is the steering box. The engine and trans. leak oil, and have done so for some time.

The air-con clutch has died, the fan is cactus, and the heater is now jammed on! Also have had a number of odd electrical problems in the dash, and with the side door locking mechanism.

Seems the trick to making the auto trans. last is to only use the overdrive when doing 75kms/hr or more. This keeps the strain off it. The postal drivers of course just wack it in 'D' a go for it. No wonder they have so many blow ups.

I really like the size and driveability of the van, just sick of the crappy running gear. A mate bought a 2004 model (not AustPost) and has had a lot of similar problems.

26th Oct 2006, 19:23

Recently drove a Ford Transit Van for 3400Kms. Mechanically it was reliable and an easy vehicle to drive, but the problem was an exploding back cargo door glass pane. There were no vehicles behind me and none had just passed me going either way. Does anyone have any knowledge of similar happenings?

15th Aug 2008, 08:47

These comments are very interesting to me as I am looking seriously at buying a 99 Australian ford Transit, 2 Lt petrol model. I love driving it, and the space for my cleaning business would be great, but I have no intention of spending thousands of dollars on repairs, so I'll give it a miss and look at similar vehicles. Thanks for your comments.

30th Mar 2010, 11:42

I have owned this van for 1 year. I have a 190 LWB S reg that's covered 133 thousand miles. Brilliant van.

Only one fault, going DOWN in my gears, I have to grind it into second gear, and double de-clutch with other gears every time this happens. Any comments please?

9th Aug 2010, 07:02

I unfortunately bought a 1999 VG 2.5 turbo diesel... I will summarise; what a piece of crap!!!

25th Aug 2010, 19:17

Would like some advise on possibly buying a 99 transit VG which has done 211000 kms and is on gas.

What questions should I be asking the owner about the van, or should I just stay clear of it?

I'm a floor sealer and will be carrying heavy loads and doing a lot of driving around. Any advice.

Thanks.

Dan.

2nd Nov 2010, 16:47

I have recently purchased a 1998 LWB mid roof VG 2.0L petrol manual van for $1200. Amazingly it has done only 62000kms. It was not running when I bought it.

I bought it knowing it again had alternator problems. Apparently the clutch and brake fluid reservoirs, which sit near the alternator and starter motor, leak fluid onto the alternator and starters, causing premature failure.

It has previously had the alternator replaced. In my case, it was the diode pack that failed. Replacement alternator $475, parts to fit it myself were $150... I bought the parts.

The air flow meter (AFM) had issues. It had been disconnected previously because it caused the engine to 'ping'. Upon further inspection, the hot-wire was dirty and I used some carby cleaner in a spray can to gently clean it. Fixed the problem.

There is an issue with the rear brakes. May just be a worn out brake shoe, but I have not yet looked at the problem.

The other issue's I can forecast it having problems with are the linkages/bushes in the gearbox selector and the clutch. This may be the heavy handed use by the previous owners, so I can't comment on whether it might be common to all vans or not.

Overall... big van, lots of space, handles well for a van, and it seems fairly economical as long as you know that these things weren't meant for speed.

23rd Dec 2010, 19:19

Have a Transit 1998 Turbo Diesel 2.5L.

It was a Telstra vehicle fitted out with hot and cold running water, sink, 240v power, air conditioning, and benches.

The body is OK, although a bit rough, but the mechanicals have been a constant worry and expense.

First the gearbox went, cost just over $5,000 to replace it with a rebuilt/exchange box. Then the starter motor went, cost $300 and had to fit it myself. Then the starter went again, replaced under warranty. Next the engine management light came on, problem was the injector pump, cost $3500 exchange and fit it myself. Hand brake cable was next, $350 for a spare part, plus fitting, still not fixed.

Now there is a bad noise coming from the engine, sounds like the bearings have gone, loss of power, no engine light on.

I hate to think what this is going to cost me, but the repairs so far have been a very lot more than the vehicle is worth.

Although it is a very nice vehicle to drive, and there normally seems to be ample power, I certainly would not recommend anyone getting one unless they have plenty of money, and also a lot of spare time to waste.

2nd Jan 2011, 03:08

I have a 97 ex-posty VG low roof SWB van that I bought at auction with 6 months rego for $2200 nearly 2 years ago. I use it for my upholstery business, and used office chairs etc, and when it's running, it has been fantastic. Easy to drive, fuel efficient, and more powerful than either the Mitsi or Econovan I had previously, with a lot more space than either of them, and I can still easily manoeuvre it around shopping centre car parks, and in the city with the assistance of power steering.

We have driven to Sydney in it, and it did that trip easily and without any headaches, and we have gone all over Gippsland and Melbourne in it; also without dramas.

I have however had automatic trans issues with it twice now, having had to replace the auto with an exchange unit from a wrecker, that cost me over $2500 including labour at an auto trans place, that had quoted $5000 to reco my gearbox.

I have had to replace the starter motor twice as well as the turbo due to an oil leak. I have spent more on fixing it than I did on buying it, but if I had bought a black smoke blowing example from a car yard for $5000 with no rego or roadworthy, I would have been a lot worse off anyway.

Parts are way too expensive, even second hand, and now I find myself with a van that has no forward or reverse gears, and am assuming it to be the torque converter that is the problem, but I have maxed my credit card already, and am unable to do a lot of things that would earn me money without a vehicle, and can't fix it without money either..

I still think it is more economical than a Mercedes van when it comes to parts and repairs, and probably more reliable than a Kia Pregio. I don't like forward control vans, and sitting on top of an engine in 40 degree heat. I think my next van would either be a later model Transit or a Hyundai I-load.